Skinner's last stand?
The rumor and speculation is kicking into overdrive. The Globe and the Providence Journal are now reporting that Al's time at BC is done regardless of if he gets the St. John's job. I've also heard that Gene has been pretty candid with his approach to this process and is not happy with Skinner.
What does this mean and where do we go from here?
1. Skinner is probably done at BC. I didn't believe it until today. I even tweeted Andy Katz looking for confirmation. The reason I think it may be over is that Al doesn't want to coach where he is not wanted. Unless Gene comes back to him with some sort of embrace/extension, I think this relationship is over. Skinner is not going to stay like TOB did. He and Gene will work out some buyout. This is all in Gene's hands now and he has shown that he is willing to jettison winning coaches regardless of perception or contracts.
2. Why now? Gene is a football guy first so Skinner's career at BC hasn't been micromanaged like the football coaches. For the most part Al delivered. This season disappointed everyone. But it wasn't fireable. Now though Gene has his opening and has given it enough thought that he wants someone with more passion for recruiting and willingness to be the face of the program. It seems he deems Skinner stale. It is not all that different from what happened with Cathy Inglese.
3. Who will Gene target interview? Ivy League names, mid major types and former Skinner assistants will all be mentioned. I also expect one or more of the Duke assistants to get floated. I will do profiles if and when the official word comes. My preference and prediction is for Northeastern's Bill Coen.
4. What does this mean long term? If Skinner doesn't get the St. John's job and is bought out, Gene will get raked across the coals nationally. Regardless of how you want to term this or the past coaching changes, this will be the fourth very successful coach Gene got heavy handed with joining TOB, Jags, and Inglese. I also think Al is under appreciated and the wrong coach could send us into a sharp decline. But in the long term, BC will be fine. It is just unfortunate that we can't ever have a clean transition.
Stay tuned as more develops. I just hope everyone takes the high road and treats the program, the players and the assistants with respect.